Mississippi native inspires students

Motivational speaker shares his story



He watches the students of all grades file in and take their seats. He looks at each individual person and wonders how many of them he will get through to. He listens to the principal as he introduces them. He takes a deep breath, looks out into the crowd and begins doing what he does best.
Dewayne Batiste and his former teacher, Donna Porter, came to visit and share their story with the students at Lindale High School on October 8. They travel to different schools to inspire students and prove that kids can change for the better.
“I feel like I went through what I went through to be able to come back and do this,” Batiste said. “Being able to talk to students across the country feels natural to me. I want to continue on this journey to impact students.”
Batiste and Porter travel to different schools to talk to students about Batiste’s life as a student and Porter’s impact on his life. Batiste is an ex-gang member, but he says Porter changed his life. Through her guidance and his desire to change, he was able to rise up and overcome many obstacles.
“We try to inspire kids to be the best they can be,” Porter said. “We also try to inspire teachers to reach out of their box and find the gifts of all their students. We have to be the change we want to see in the world.”
Porter made it her job to quickly discover Batiste’s gift, which she believes is as a leader and speaker. She then put Batiste in charge of greeting people at the door when they entered her classroom. Batiste realized that he could use his leadership skills for a much greater cause than what he was.
“People always ask me if I ever get nervous talking in front of high schoolers,” Batiste said. “But I never do. This is my natural habitat. The love that I receive from students is what keeps me going. I know this is what I was meant to do.”